Use this devo as you are able, in whole or in part. Don’t feel compelled to read it all. Simply read and meditate upon whatever catches your attention. The goal is enjoying time with God through His Word and in prayer. Questions about the devotional elements?
What is “Christmas”?
The twelve-day Christmas season, beginning on Christmas Day is a season of light in darkness, where we are taken deeper into the growing light of the Word made flesh. At the heart of the Christmas season is the mystery of the incarnation, of God becoming human.
The Christmas season grounds our faith in space and time—this world that is broken, this body that bleeds. Materiality is not an embarrassment to God; he created it and revels in it. Christmas calls us to live incarnationally, to embody our faith in our local neighborhoods, following the lead of Jesus, the Word who left heaven and “moved into the neighborhood” (John 1:14, The Message).
Call to Prayer
“Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Ps. 100:1-2)
Prayer of Confession
Eternal, almighty God, how did your hands, which flung galaxies into elegant orbit, become the awkwardly uncontrolled hands of a newborn? How does your eternal being get inseparably woven into time-bound humanity? While the how of your incarnation widens my faith, may the wonder of why you’ve done this for me bring deep joy today. Amen. (Prayer based on the Westminster Confession, Q8.2)
*Prayer borrowed from Philip Reinders’ Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
This reading plan will help you to develop the habit of being in God’s Word each morning and evening. Come to this time with expectation. Expect God to reveal himself to you. Expect that he delights in you being there, even when you’ve wandered away. Growing a spiritual habit is a slow, patient process. So be kind to yourself as you grow!
Readings are hyperlinked. Simply hover over the passage or click Morning/Evening Reading (email version).
Pray Psalm 100 | Read John 21
- Praying the Psalms: Read slowly. Take note of words and phrases. Bring them before the Lord in prayer and personalize the passage as you pray.
- NT Context: In deliberate parallel to the opening words of Genesis, John presents God as speaking salvation into existence. This time God’s word takes on human form and enters history in the person of Jesus. Jesus speaks the word and it happens: forgiveness and judgment, healing and illumination, mercy and grace, joy and love, freedom and resurrection. Everything broken and fallen, sinful and diseased, called into salvation by God’s spoken word. Jesus, in this account, not only speaks the word of God; he is the Word of God. Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
Pray Psalm 101 | Read 1 Chronicles 7
- OT Context: “Sovereignty, God’s sovereignty, is one of the most difficult things for people of faith to live out in everyday routines…This story makes it clear that it was not God’s idea that the Hebrews have a king, but since they insisted, he let them have their way. But God never abdicated his sovereignty to any of the Hebrew kings; the idea was that they would represent his sovereignty, not that he would delegate his sovereignty to them. Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
Winter series is coming up soon in late January. In the meantime, we will have a special short series called, “Words to Live By” where the pastors and elders of Oak Pointe Milford will share the passages and words that Christ has been using to shape them.
So during this series, we’re going to take a short break from the daily sermon devo. If this portion of the devo is part of your regular rhythm, then what should you do instead?
Here’s one idea: Read along with our regular Old and New Testament readings and spend a few minutes after each reading simply dwelling in quietness before God. Think through what stood out to you, read the passages again, and then pray from those passages.
Evening Prayer of Examen
- Where did you move with or feel close to Jesus today?
- Where did you resist or feel far from Jesus today?
- Where is Jesus leading you tomorrow? Ask for joy as you follow him.
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.” (Luke 1:68)